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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Crystal Vision

      Indecisive and unmotivated, two words that could have been used to describe the start of St. Charles alternative rock band, The Crystal Vision. The band had trouble finding a name that works, using Envision for a short while, considered Watch Out For The Glass, until finally The Crystal Vision was thought up by the group while brainstorming.
      The band's earliest formation was back in the spring of 2009. The band's vocalist, Tom Hinds, and drummer, Jon Belsheim, joked about forming a death metal band. The band quickly formed than broke up due to a lack of motivation and guitarists/bassists. It wasn't until a year later that Tom joked, yet again, about forming a band with Peter Procek (guitar), this time it was talks of a Korn cover band. Ryan Shannon (guitar) joined the band and a guitar battle was planned. The battle never happened, but the band did enjoy several games of Rockband.
      Jon joined the new band, and all the members started jamming together. After agreeing to commit to the band, they scrounged up $800 and bought a mixer and P.A. systems. The purchases served as sort of an unspoken oath between the members. They practiced all summer and recruited Nick Novotny on the bass.
      The Crystal Vision is populated by different musicians with different music influences. Their unique styles are vital to the band's grungy mesh of relaxed, blue-sy, post-rock.
       "Tom joined the band as more of a metal head, listening to bands such as Tool, Metallica, and slayer. Both Ryan and Peter always shared a similar style that came from more bluesy, alternative rock tones. Ryan's style had emanated from a lot of ambient music such as Explosions in the Sky and Minus the Bear. Peters musical style was largely influenced by Jimmy page, having been a Zeppelin fan a majority of his life, as well as other classic rock groups such as Pink Floyd. Jon's inspiration consisted of a classic rock upbringing as well, such as Zeppelin like Peter, but was also influenced by faster, and harder drummer lines by bands such as A Day to Remember. Nick had always had a more chaotic and even funky style influenced by groups such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Cage the Elephant." Says the band.
      "While we all came from different musical spectrums, we began making music without a hitch, and our sound was a resultant of everything that we were brought up by musically, and much of these influences are evident in our music. As we matured as a band, the sound became more refined, and we all started sharing and discovering common  music grounds, continuing to make the music we love."
      Overall the band sound is made up of very calm alternative songs, but occasionally throws a surprise at the listener in the form of AB3D with its harsh screams, or Wafflers with its more punk feel.
      The story behind the name of the band's upcoming album, Welcome to the Dark Room. In the band's practice space, there is a small storage room just out of the band's set-up. Whenever someone in the band needs that full focus for learning a part, or thinking up an idea, they often go into this "dark room" to do so. With a good portion of the songs written out of the dark room, it only makes sense to "welcome" the listener to the dark room.
      The band has noticed a small split in the album and sense two sides to the album. "The first side is seen in songs like Stories End and Recall the New a very chill mellow style and you can just relax and listen. Then there is a Bi-polar flip to songs like Wafflers Rebellion and AB3D where there is a chaotic heavy tone that just encompasses full on energy."
      The band will be playing several shows to promote the release of the album and will turn to Facebook and toilet fliers as forms of advertisement.
      The band sprinkles unique performances all around the St. Charles area in small venues with the support of their fans. The band occasionally plays a big venue when they're out of town in hopes of branching out a bit. The band is ver big on hanging out with fans after the show. "When you come to a Crystal Vision show, plain and simple you should expect to have a good time."
      Naturally, the band is looking to play more shows and even bigger shows. Their sole goal is to be able to look back on all they've done and know that they made good music that will stay with people for a long time. Keep a lookout for the release of the album sometime this month.

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